Vancouver will go into playoffs No. 1 in rankings

Through Monday's games

Rank; Team; Record; Comment; Previous rank

1. Vancouver 52-18-9; Canucks clinched first President's Trophy in franchise history. Only worry now is avoiding more injuries. (1)

2. San Jose 47-23-9; The Sharks have won four straight and 10 of their last 11. But it's tough to believe in them until they win a playoff round or two. Or three. (3)

3. Washington 46-22-11; Dancing With the Caps: Alexander Ovechkin invents leg-lifting goal dance after scoring in OT to beat Buffalo. The start of a trend? (2)

4. Pittsburgh 46-25-8; Sidney Crosby is practicing again, but it's far from sure that he will return for the playoffs. They've won seven of their last 10. (4)

5. Detroit 46-23-10; The Red Wings have been all over the map, losing badly to St. Louis but rallying to beat Nashville. It's not like them to be so erratic. (7)

6. Boston 44-24-11; Bruins clinched their second straight Northeast title by beating Atlanta last Saturday. They followed that with a monumental collapse against the Rangers on Monday. (11)

7. Kings 45-28-6; Until a 6-1 loss at San Jose on Monday, they had held up decently minus top scorers Justin Williams (shoulder) and Anze Kopitar (ankle). (8)

8. Philadelphia 46-22-11; Flyers are neck and neck with the Capitals for the No. 1 seeding in the East but are 0-2-4 in their last six at home. Puzzling. And Chris Pronger (hand) is still healing. (6)

9. Tampa Bay 44-24-11; Lightning seems to have straightened itself out and has won five straight, including shutout of Blackhawks on Sunday. (15)

10. Phoenix 42-25-12; Rare four-day break should allow some bumps and bruises to heal and injured players to return when they resume Wednesday against the Kings. (5)

11. Nashville 42-26-11; The Predators have squandered leads in two of their last three games, which isn't like them. (9)

12. Ducks 44-30-5; They had a chance to clinch a playoff spot Sunday but lost on two controversial but correct calls. They looked tired in losing second of back-to-back games against San Jose and Dallas. (10)

13. N.Y. Rangers 43-32-5; They might have saved their season by rallying to beat Boston on Monday. (13)

14. Buffalo 40-29-10; Rookie goalie Jhonas Enroth fills in admirably while Ryan Miller heals from collarbone injury. Looks as if Sabres will make the playoffs. (16)

15. Chicago 42-28-8; Defending Stanley Cup champions have missed winger Patrick Sharp (knee). He might return this week. They desperately need him — and a heightened sense of urgency. (12)

16. Montreal 42-30-7; Canadiens have been up and down, losing six of their last 10, including three shutout losses. (14)

17. Dallas 39-28-11; Stars kept the West scrambling with a wild win over the Ducks on Sunday that prevented the Ducks, Kings and Coyotes from clinching playoff spots. (17)

18. Carolina 38-30-11; Hurricanes had won seven of nine before losing in overtime to Buffalo on Sunday. They're hanging on in fight to pass Buffalo or the Rangers. (19)

19. Calgary 40-29-11; Flames barely stayed alive by beating Colorado on Sunday. But they've played more games than anyone else, so their destiny isn't in their hands. (18)

20. Toronto 37-32-10; The Maple Leafs gave their fans a little thrill with a late surge that kept them in distant playoff contention. Goalie James Reimer looks like a good one. (21)

21. New Jersey 36-37-5; Devils' improbable playoff push became impossible last week. Only good news was Zach Parise's return from knee surgery after missing five months. (20)

22. Atlanta 33-33-12; Thrashers' playoff hopes officially ended last week, though they really were out of it six weeks ago. (23)

23. Columbus 34-32-13; Blue Jackets have faded badly, winning only two of their last 11. GM Scott Howson has gotten vote of confidence from ownership, though it's not entirely clear why. (24)

24. St. Louis 36-33-10; Blues have won four of six, but it's too little too late. Actually a lot too little and a lot too late. (22)

25. Minnesota 37-34-8; Wild has won only two of its last 11. They're testing the patience of their knowledgeable and loyal fans. (25)

26. Ottawa 30-39-10; The Senators might not have a 20-goal scorer, which would be a first. And noteworthy, because they were bad in their early years. (26)

27. N.Y. Islanders 30-37-12; They can score and they have some good pieces but no depth. Michael Grabner (31 goals, 48 points) deserves serious rookie-of-the-year consideration. (27)

28. Florida 29-38-12; Panthers missed playoffs for 10th straight season. That's pretty tough to do in this league. (28)

29. Colorado 29-41-8; Paul Stastny will miss the last five games because of a stress fracture in his leg. His teammates probably consider him lucky. (29)

30. Edmonton 24-43-11; Their Stanley Cup moment was beating No. 1 overall playoff seed Vancouver on Saturday to end 11-game losing streak. (30)

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